- Since 2000, AF and the Beckley Foundation have organised and hosted a series of influential Seminars under the title Drugs & Society: A Rational Perspective. The ten Seminars, mainly held at the House of Lords, have been very influential, and were the first to bring together leading international scientists, politicians and thought-leaders in order to share knowledge, foster collaborations and debate ways forward.
- In 2003, AF invited Prof. Colin Blakemore to make a presentation launching the concept of a Scientific Scale of Harms for Psychoactive Drugs, licit and illicit. The Scale of Harms, which was further developed for the 2004 Beckley seminar, led to the celebrated 2007 Lancet paper ‘Development of a Rational Scale to Assess the Harm of Drugs of Potential Misuse’ paper in 2007, by Nutt, Blakemore, et al.
- At its 2004 Seminar, the Beckley Foundation inaugurated and launched two influential organisations, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP).
- In 2006, AF convened the Beckley Foundation Global Cannabis Commission, as she realised that cannabis, although it constituted 85% of illicit drug use, was never mentioned at international fora such as the UN. The subsequent Report, ‘Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate’, written by the leading academics in the field, recommended decriminalisation and regulation, and has been highly influential in the USA and around the world.
- In November 2011, as part of the Beckley Foundation’s Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, the Foundation brought together political leaders from 14 countries interested in reform, and members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy Reform.
For this initiative, Amanda Feilding commissioned two Reports:
– The first, ‘Roadmaps to Reforming the UN Drug Conventions’ (2012), explains in detail how the UN Drug Conventions could be amended to give countries greater freedom to adopt policies better suited to their individual needs.
– The second, ‘Licensing and Regulation of the Cannabis Market in England and Wales: Towards a Cost-Benefit Analysis’ (2013), was the Report to academically quantify the fiscal and social benefits of a regulated and taxed cannabis market.
- In order to support the BF’s Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform was established as a voice from the Houses of Parliament.
- In 2007, the Beckley Foundation was granted Consultative Status by ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council), becoming an UN-accredited NGO.
- The Foundation has produced over 40 authoritative books, reports and briefing papers on the rational consideration of drug policy. The topics discussed cover a wide range of fundamental issues relating to drug-policy and its reform. These publications have played a major role in expanding knowledge and disseminating best practices on drug policy, highlighting the shortcomings of criminalisation and encouraging new approaches. Among our most influential publications are:
- Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate (2008). The first comprehensive review of global cannabis use and the policies that control it. The report provides a practical blueprint for change, and it has informed policy experimentation in the United States, Uruguay and elsewhere.
- Roadmaps to Reforming the UN Drug Conventions (2012).
- Licensing and Regulation of the Cannabis Market in England and Wales: Towards a Cost-Benefit Analysis (2013).
- In 2011, to coincide with the launch of the Beckley’s Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, AF wrote the Beckley Foundation Public Letter, which calls for the reform of failed drug policies and encourages an open debate on alternative approaches. It was signed by nine Presidents, thirteen Nobel Laureates and a host of other international luminaries. The letter is considered one of the key milestones in the history of drug policy reform.
- In 2012, AF was invited by President Otto Pérez Molina to advise him and his government on drug policy reform. This was followed by the President’s launching of the Beckley Foundation’s Latin American Chapter and his signing of the Public Letter. At his request, AF and the Beckley Foundation produced two key Reports that she presented to the President and his Ministers, entitled Paths for Reform and Illicit Drug Markets and Dimensions of Violence in Guatemala, in January 2013. Paths to Reform included many recommendations that the President incorporated into his speeches at Davos and the UN, and has subsequently started implementing.
- In 2013, AF remarked to the President that there was no hope of ending violence in Latin America without opening the debate on regulating the coca/cocaine market, and suggested that the Beckley Foundation produce a report to tackle this taboo issue. He responded enthusiastically and the report, Roadmaps to Regulation: Coca, Cocaine & Derivatives, is now nearing completion. It is the first time this sensitive subject has been tackled. AF has convened over 20 leading experts who are contributing chapters to this important publication.
- The other report that we are currently undertaking, Roadmaps to Regulation: Cannabis, Psychedelics, MDMA & NPS, is developing best practices for approaching the regulation of these substance-types and also ways to analyse the likely outcomes of a move towards a strictly regulated market.